Every year during the Seto Inland Sea Art Setouchi festival, Teshima island in Kagawa prefecture of Shikoku would be full of excited visitors. The island is sometimes bustling, but most of the time calm and tranquil. In the days without the art festival, people can better enjoy the serenity of the fields by the sea and be thankful for the abundance of nature.
Akira Minagawa, founder of the fashion brand “minä perhonen”, has curated a Japanese inn called Umitota that focuses on the “Teshima experience”. Umitota is a Japanese word that means sea and field, which is a perfect description of the image of Teshima. The inn itself was originally a traditional Japanese housing with the West side facing a field and the North side facing the Seto Inland Sea. During the day, the guests can go seeding or harvesting in the nearby fields to gain some farming experience. In the afternoon, they can prepare a light lunch with the local produce. After lunch, the library is a perfect place to spend the afternoon, before enjoying a nice bath in the bathroom with a sea view.
All the textile used in Umitota are made by minä perhonen, whereas Shinichiro Ogata from Simplicity was fully in charge of refurbishing the building. Ogata specializes in recreating traditional culture with a modernized expression. When working on the Umitota project, he insisted on retaining the building’s original structure; even the cracks on the wattle and daub wall near the ceiling were kept intact. The team also invited the locals to decorate the facade with seashells. This facade, that carries the warmth of the locals, naturally brings guests who come for a short stay even closer to the essence of the island.